to fold back and sew down the edge of (cloth, a garment, etc.); form an edge or border on or around.
to enclose or confine (usually followed by in, around, or about): hemmed in by enemies.
an edge made by folding back the margin of cloth and sewing it down.
the edge or border of a garment, drape, etc., especially at the bottom.
the edge, border, or margin of anything.
Architecture. the raised edge forming the volute of an Ionic capital.
Other definitions for hem (2 of 3)
(an utterance resembling a slight clearing of the throat, used to attract attention, express doubt, etc.)
the utterance or sound of “hem.”
a sound or pause of hesitation: His sermon was full of hems and haws.
to utter the sound “hem.”
to hesitate in speaking.
How to use hem in a sentence
After some hemming and hawing, Yusaf finally replied with, “Why do you have to insult the Prophet?”
After much hemming and hawing—because everything moves slowly in the palace—they said yes.
In 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington passed full-on, no-hemming-or-hawing pot legalization by large majorities.
After much hemming and hawing, he finally settled on a single word to describe the finale: "victorious."'Breaking Bad' Creator Vince Gilligan Reveals the Finale Will Be "Victorious" | Andrew Romano | April 30, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
After 500 pages of hemming and hawing by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Roethlisberger was never criminally charged.
She made a little moue at me, and went on hemming the curtains, getting up now and then to measure them.The Idyl of Twin Fires | Walter Prichard Eaton
But to think of the difference between Parson Hemming and Mr. Gray!My Lady Ludlow | Elizabeth Gaskell
Mother could hardly use it again even for hemming floor-cloths.Queensland Cousins | Eleanor Luisa Haverfield
The manufacturer did not reply, and the professor, after a preliminary hemming, held his peace.A Traveler from Altruria: Romance | William Dean Howells
Miss Hemming, the future Mrs. Guy, was by no means deficient in peculiarity from his people's point of view.Witching Hill | E. W. Hornung
British Dictionary definitions for hem (1 of 3)
an edge to a piece of cloth, made by folding the raw edge under and stitching it down
short for hemline
to provide with a hem
(usually foll by in, around, or about) to enclose or confine
British Dictionary definitions for hem (2 of 3)
a representation of the sound of clearing the throat, used to gain attention, express hesitation, etc
(intr) to utter this sound
hem and haw or hum and haw to hesitate in speaking or in making a decision
British Dictionary definitions for hem- (3 of 3)
a US variant of haemo-
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012